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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Sixties a Time of Enlightenment......for Moms

The Sixties a Time of Enlightenment......for Moms

The Sixties a Time of Enlightenment ....for Moms

If you remember the sixties, then you remember the strides made in the modern kitchen. And when I say strides I don't mean steps taken by dad toward the fridge, but strides toward making the kitchen a modern marvel in electronic gadgets.
Big bright shiny ice cube making fridges towering beside gleaming electric four burner stove tops with large capacity ovens. Stove tops that are overshadowed by twin speed exhaust fans to remove any and all unpleasant cooking odors . Dishwashers that quietly complete the task that the children once fought over. And counter top electric mixers, clocks, can openers and even a transistor radio placed for easy access to make the modern housewife more efficient and happy.
Yes it was a big leap ahead for a housewife of the sixties. And everyone of these gadgets (except the dishwasher) all came with a light on them or in them. Open the door of the fridge a light comes on (or was it on all the time?). Open the stove another lights shines to let the baker know how the cooking process is advancing. Want to know how the Spam is frying up but the big bouffant hair doo is casting too long a shadow. No problem just flick a switch on the fan over the stove and voila, instant lighting, mystery solved. Want to mix up a cake under low lighting conditions? And who wouldn't! No problem the mixer has a headlight. Even moms vacuum had a headlight! So no matter what time of day mom could always get the vacuuming done. Everything mom had in the house all came with a bright guiding light that made the cooking and cleaning safe and enjoyable.
We now find ourselves out behind our house of the sixties, in a separate building just off the back alley, the garage. This was the place where the dads spent most of their waking hours when not at work or when hiding from the children of that era that were running around all seen but not heard.....Creepy!
Dads always had a project on the go out there in the garage. But never in my life did my Dad ever complete one. But he was always working on something out there.
"Where's your Father?" Mom would holler over the twin speed stove hood fan while cooking and mixing, multitasking and making ice cubes in her well lit cooking paradise.
Myself and my three brothers would stop our running around from where Mom could see us and be unsure as to wether to verbally respond or not. But when questioned again, only a little louder, we would report in well mannered somewhat breathless style (we were never sure when running around if we were allowed to breath so hard as to be heard) "He's in the garage building, cutting, puff puff pant, hammering, drilling wood together mom."
"Well get him in here and tell him to wash up for dinner. We're gonna eat in 5 minutes."
My oldest brother and I would go out to the garage to let dad know about dinner. At first quietly, taking turns on each others shoulders to peak though a torn corner of the cardboard he'd nailed over the window. We could hear more than see what took up Dads time. Electric saws screaming, burning through more than cutting through hardened wood of a first growth forest. Then he hammered together cut timber with nails of iron with mighty blows from an old wooden handled hammer with one broken claw. Then holes were burn drilled with dancing, moving dull drill bits he inherited from his dad all to be turned into.....? Don't know. Maybe woodwork had something to do with aggression? But whatever he was doing outback he never finished anything. And all this alleged carpentry he did, he did in a make shift structure with no electric power.
"What!" you say. "He's out there in the dark garage, by himself making small electric hand tool noises?.... Well that explains a lot about this writer and his stories."
No! A cord ran from a plug in the house that already had the mixer, can opener, transistor radio with a clock and electric egg beater jammed into it. And this cord, which looked like he got it from the same place he got the drill bits from, powered a light bulb in the center of the garage over his 57 Ford. A light that didn't shine but oozed a glow that barely eked out a shadow from my dad doing.....well here again, ????
And everything my dad had that he thought was important was in that garage. Every tool he borrowed, bought or inherited was on the walls around felt pen likenesses or strewn across his work bench. Boxes and bags sat on racks or hung from nails on all the walls to keep them off the dirt floor. The rafters were filled with long boards of every width, length and thickness, all collected over time all to be used for.......? Direct lighting over to Dads workbench was impossible from that bulb. It barely lobed a faint glow across a crowded void and hinted illumination.
Suggested shadows were everywhere. It would of been scary if we could of seen better. But here in this gloom not fifty feet from a modern bright kitchen my Dad chose to risk personal injury and possible dismemberment doing whatever it was he did with electric tools that were tens of years behind in development of kitchen gadgets. It hasn't been till recent years that lights have shown up on hand held power tools.
Why did moms tools have lights and dads tools didn't? Was it that man saw no need for a sissy little light to protect his digits and appendages. Me man, get me drink and hammer, me fix. Or, was it that a tool with a light would have to come with instruction on how to change the bulb and knowing man and written word it would of been a useless feature after a few months.
Or was it that women were the first inventing all kitchen gadgets and thought a light with a makeup mirror on every kitchen Doodad would always have them at the ready to have them looking their 'June Cleaver' best in any cooking situation. But the aging uninterested male scientists at Westinghouse thought because of high costs, it was more important for just the light to be featured and to be placed correctly to ensure rather a speedy and well made dish than a hot mama dish.
Never did we hear "Cindy hold the flashlight at the edge of the bowl so mommy can see how smooth the batter is." Or, "It's Shake and Bake and I held the flashlight!"
But for boys, holding the flashlight is our introduction into home repair. And it got so you could get good at it and know where dad would need it to point and he was proud of you.
Women knew the need for proper lighting to get a job done. If it had been up to men you would still need a flashlight to look in the fridge or oven. We men power up the tools but under power the lights. No matter where you work on a car, even today, you have to have an extra light.
It wasn't until my Dad had past away, at his funeral a woman I had never seen who worked for an orphanage came up to me and spoke so glowingly of my Dad. It was then I knew what he must of been doing all those many hours in his dimly lit garage. This lady assured me that wasn't the case.
I still had no idea what he was doing back there.
It wasn't till Mom sold the place and they knocked over the garage and dug a new foundation that..... nope not even then.
It was years later, I found myself at home down in a dark part of the basement that I had burrowed out for myself. It was a small corner surrounded by boxes that gave the illusion of protecting walls. Overhead hung a bare lightbulb that had the same amount of watts that I had years. I was working on something that I knew I could never fix but felt the need to try. Upstairs I could hear my wife on the phone to her sister. They were into their second hour of this and that filled with gossip. All three kids were either at the computer, TV, stereo, XBox or in the bathroom. It was then when I reached over to turn on the hockey game from an old transistor radio that sat in our kitchen that I had inherited from my Mom that I knew what Dad was doing in the garage out back. Under the luxury of long shadows a light clicked on.

Bob Niles

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Grandpas Celebration

Grandpas Celebration

Grandpas Celebration

"Papa you missed the bestest party." shout whispered Amber as she removed her coat and threw it on his bed.
"Honey Papa's sleeping remember. Don't be running around and climbing on his bed." Cautioned Ambers Mom as she hung Ambers coat up.
"But Mom he's been asleep so long! It's time for him to get up...don't ya think? He slept right through Grandpas party. You missed a cool party Papa! It was in this really neat place! But Mom and Daddy said I had to be really quiet. I asked why? Cause they told me it was going to be a celebration. But nobody really was happy or looked like they were in the mood to celebrate Grandpas party."
"But for some reason Grandpa wasn't there." Amber stated as she pushed the big chair up to Papas bed. She faced the chair and with both hands pulled and kicked her way to a sitting position. "There was a big picture of Grandpa taken back before I was even thought of, Daddy said. Why he even looked like Daddy! But he was on a horse and Daddy has never been on a horse or he would of told me. I heard people say they couldn't believe he was gone.....so he must of been there and had to leave to maybe get hay for a horse."
"Amber liked that idea and giggled as she took a card off the little table by the bed and pretended to read it. "It says here Grandpa went and bought grass for a horse named Chicklett, the oldest horse in the world, because it was born before anyone thought of Amber!"
She returned the card back to the table but now upside down. "Boy Papa you sure got lots of hoses and wires and stuff all over ya. Grandpa has that same Halloween spaceman mask as you do in his big hospital. I told him it was a spaceman mask and he laughed so much he coughed and spit up something right in his mask. I was grossed out but I pretended I wasn't. So if you're going to laugh....let me know."
"Honey Papas tired, you know he can't talk,and he might not be able to hear you." Ambers Daddy explained as he combed his Grandad's hair.
"Ah that's okay,Mom says I talk enough for two people. Ain't that right Papa?"
Amber then carefully crawled off the chair and pushed and pulled it over to the window. She made sure it faced toward the garden and pond. The plastic bird and
deer with the little guy under a mushroom always made her smile. Happy with its location she then hop skipped back to her Mom.
"Mom can you close the door? I gotta tell Papa a secret about Grandpas party. You know what Papa?... I saw Daddy cry. Sorry Daddy but it's true. But it's okay cause I saw Uncle William cry too. And Grandma really cried! I can't believe they'd be so mad grandpa left. Seems he had a better place to go to and people did not like that at all. I was just happy when I heard he wasn't in the hospital anymore. I bet he comes to our house for dinner! You come too Papa we can read books and color my Princess Pony Book. And then we can laugh at Grandpa being silly."
"Amber,....Grandpas in a far better place now, he's in heaven with Nana. Remember we talked about this." her Mom said as she scooped Amber to her lap. "We won't be able to see him anymore. But he'll look down from heaven and watch us to see we're alright."
"No Mom! Dad and you were talking in the car and I heard you say that Papa and Grandpa will soon be sharing the same room! So I made room for Grandpa to sit in the chair by the window! He probably got tired of that big hospital and the stinky smells. Well to be honest it kinda stinks here too."
"Amber!"
"Well it does..kinda." She crawled off her Moms lap and walked to he other side of the bed noticing everything as she went. Seeing a fly, she followed it to the window and climbed back on the chair. "How come your bed has wheels Papa? Mom, will Grandpas bed have wheels too?" Ambers little voice starts to tremble. "Mom are you and Dad telling a fib about Grandpa? How come you said he's in heaven if you also said he's going to be here?"
"What we meant Amber is....Papa is really sick. He might go to heaven to be with Nana soon. And Grandpa."
"Mom,..if Grandpa is in heaven he won't get to see me learn to ride the pink bike Grandma and him bought me for Christmas. And that wouldn't be fair. No one else would play dollies with me ever again in my whole life! Who's going to make me cheesy noodles everyday after pre school? You said he would do that as soon as he got better!"
"I'm sorryAmber sometimes things happen to grandpas.
"You still have a grandpa! Why are you telling me mine is gone?" she began to cry as she turned her face into the chair. I love Papa, but I love Grandpa more. Sorry Papa."
"Amber Papa has been gone for years. It's only because of all these tubes and wires that he's still alive. Papa's been in this bed your whole life. He can maybe smile and you can hold his hand but nothing else."
"Mom that's all I want to do with Grandpa right now. And forever if I could. I could tell him about all the things I do and get in trouble for cause he's never mad at me. I could come here and hold his hand when I'm scared, and I could squeeze it twice to let him know I love him. And then I'll grow up and have my own kids and they could see Grandpa and talk to him like I talk to Papa Mom!
"Come here Amber. I know that sometimes life is hard on kids. No one knows why God likes some people more so he takes them to heaven first. But now Grandpa doesn't have a sore back, and he can breathe again. He doesn't hurt anymore. You want that for him...right?"
Amber wiped her nose and runny eyes on her sleeve while her Mom dug for a tissue from her purse. "Mom can you write Grandpa and note for me?" Again using her sleeve as a tissue. "Im kinda mad he left without our special handshake, but don't write that. Can you write.....Dear Grandpa Buddy, sorry you missed your party but I guess you had to go to heaven. I saw you on a horse. You looked like Daddy. We're visiting Papa and I put a chair by the window for you if you ever come. Remember that little stone guy in the garden...he's still there. You should of seen how polite I was at your party. I thanked your friends for coming. I told them you had to leave to ride your horse. And after when we had juice and cake and I went off in a corner and tooted quietly like you told me to do."

"Hi Grandpa buddy, you didn't get to see me start school today. I'm six now. How's Papa and you doing today? I finally learned to tie my shoes so now you don't have to bend over to do it next time."

"Hi Grandpa buddy, I don't have Lulu my blanket anymore. I'm grownup Mom says. I rode that pink bike that you and Grandma got me without my training wheels. Remember from a long time ago? I still miss you."

Hi Grandpa,...Buddy. I found this letter I was suppose to send you, somehow, but I guess it was that Mom hid it away. She wrote in it three times for me after your funeral, but then we forgot about it.
I found it in a box of Moms, amongst a few of her treasured things. A box filled with old pictures, letters and cards. There was also a drawing I did of you and me on a rainbow.
I have kids of my own now. Three. I even named the boy after you. Kids tease him with a name like Grandpa. Ha ha got you. I remember how you'd love to laugh. We're really proud of John, I think you would be too. I wish you would of known him. I wish you could of been around longer. I've thought of you often.
I know you passed away when I was only four but I never forgot your stories of the Bible and the silly voices you used teasing me. Our play fights on the bed and the trips to the playground. We shared a short moment in time together but every one of them was special. I was very lucky to have a grandpa like you.
Dad is just like you with my kids. I sometimes wonder where he gets the energy. He sure pays for it later with all the aches and pains.
Thank you for being the best grandpa, even if it was for a short time. I was too young to fully know what you meant to me. There's a special kind of love a child has for a grandparent. Shared by no other. A special part of your heart that only a grandparent can touch. Everything you taught me and did with me was done with patience. You probably sacrificed days of pain for but a brief moment of pleasure in our play. You treated every word I said as if it were spun of gold. You laughed the loudest and longest at my attempted jokes. And no one could dance like us, could they? Our imagined stories took twists and turns that only a four year old could make, and a sixty year old would support, with sounding trumpets.
Grandpa,....thank you for all the things you shared with me. You made every visit special. It was like you knew each day was numbered and you were living with single digits.
This letter was all I could think to do at age four to tell you what you were missing. It wasn't fair you left so soon. We had so much more to experience together if time had of been on our side.
Amber placed the letter the letter in her Moms hands and had them close the coffin lid. Her whole world had turned blurry as healing tears flooded her eyes. She knew in her heart they were looking down at her as she said her goodbyes to her Mom, and now ending grandpas letter. Dabbing her eyes with a tissue she turned and went to sit with her family in the front row.
Her youngest daughter climb on her lap and held her face in one hand.
"Mom don't cry, grandma's watching with some guy on a horse."


Bob Niles

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Are You Picking Up What I'm Putting Down?







                           Are You Picking Up What I'm Putting Down?

 "Here Buddy! Come on Boy! Good boy, come get your dinner. Prepared just the way you like it. Fresh out of the can like Thanksgiving cranberry jelly. And speaking of Thanksgiving you'd better start saying your prayers that they don't raise the price of dog food over the new B.C. recycling program. You know they want to charge the companies that make your yummy 'Beef Chunks in Gravy' the cost of recycling their product. There's a good boy! Not to worry Daddy will still buy you the canned food.  It's grandma that's going to get hit the hardest on her fixed income. She loves her 'Beef Chunks in Gravy'. Combine this new problem with her gambling problem at the casino, and her easy access to a bus route, I'll never see a penny of inheritance."
 "Atta boy, clean it all up. What's that boy? ....You think municipal taxes will drop now the burdens on the producer to cover recycling? Ahhhh,..That's why your mans best friend and not smartest friend."
 "Do you remember I told you what we do when we leave you here alone during the day? Thats riiight, mommy and daddy go to work. And every day that we go we bring home less and less it seems.  I know you think we drive to work with the windows down and our heads sticking out.  And, that all the new interesting smells from the office should in itself be enough to make the day worthwhile. But sadly no. Its hard work, long hours away from home and more of our income goes out to buying essentials and paying taxes every year. We have to shop for deals and spend wisely to save a dollar. More and more time is allocated toward smart buying, and now proper waste management of  all the things we buy."
 "Let's go walkies! Come on Buddy outside! See all the collection boxes scattered in front of every house? That's right it's Garbage Eve, your favorite night for a walk. So many smells! Garbage cans, Green Carts, Blue Boxes with yellow and blue bags and now an added new Grey Cart system. Box after box filled with more boxes, papers, plastics and glass bottles fill the neighbourhood sidewalks. If only you could see all the pretty colours.  Everything that we've bought in the last week that we didn't eat is now at the curb. Load after load, hauled to the curb making the font of your house looking like a really bad yard sale! That's right you bark at them, don't you. The ones that dig through our garbage like we're some sort of Hollywood Star. Privacy and recycling bandits looking for a morsel bit they can get a nickel for. Your whole life is at the curb for the whole world to rummage through. My love for Twinkies and Captain Crunch is now known by anyone who walks by. Whats that? Or watches me try to bend over to pick up the paper? It's a good thing your my best friend."
 "How did we get here? No, not here boy, but here as in the waste we throw away. Look at our streets! For one night every week we humans show the universe how wasteful we are. Aliens must wonder who could be in charge to produce this must wasted product. Then they see me picking up what you just laid down in my bag covered hand and surmise that dogs are the masters of earth. For only a supreme being could get a human to do that. It's your fault Buddy! You and your expensive dog food cans!" 
 "Come on let's mark a few more Blue Boxes and head home......Oh look, I thought Jim was in A.A."

Bob Niles

 

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Bad Bad House Sitter. (cartoon)

The Bad Bad House Sitter

The Bad Bad House Sitter

With summer holidays soon upon us neighbors sometimes think they can leave their most valuable possession, their home, cared for by the guy next door.
Fools! At least my neighbors are. They go to China twice a year trusting I'll care for their home while they're away. And I care for their home like it was my own. I move in. I take full advantage of the situation presented me. And this can sometimes blow up in my face as you'll read.
Enjoy.


Are you like me? Don't you just hate it when your neighbors come home early from holidays, especially when you've been entrusted with the upkeep of their property while they were away.
You're in their house (because they forgot to lock all the windows) having a long hot shower, when some idiot comes in their driveway and lays on the horn. You run from the shower ( soaking wet because you forgot to bring a towel with you) and wrap yourself in the curtains to find out what nincompoop making all the hullabaloo. And it's them!
Their horn is blaring because your brother-in-laws broken down motor home is blocking the driveway.
You quickly paste your clothes on ( it looks like that when you dress wet) and run out the back door, in an effort to hide your illegal entry, forgetting to remove Cindys (wife to Bob, the next-door neighbor) shower cap. "Welcome home!" you fein as you suddenly remember, and remove the ill-gotten rain cap. And it's at this very moment you realize the gravity of the situation.
The motor home's in the driveway because it's transmission is in their carport. An electrical cord is running from their house to your teenagers room to power some very bright lights (some sort of science project he says). Their 16 piece patio furniture set is still at your mother-in-laws. Your filling your in ground pool from their hose. There's still a load of laundry in their washer, one on top of their dryer and one in the dryer. You still haven't cleaned up from the party you had in their back-yard two weeks ago. The grass you said you'd cut and water is so far just an empty promise. All of a sudden you remember something about making a commitment to feed and water their cat Mitsy. And you've rented their basement out to a non-English speaking, perhaps Eastern European, perhaps drug underworld, perhaps violent and somewhat shady character till the end of the week.
Lucky for you your neighbors also don't speak English, which for a time (or maybe longer) is going to save your butt. Oh they'll look at you funny for a long time, and never leave anything in you care again (something the wife already knew) and sometime in the distant future they'll get over Mitsy, hopefully.


Bob Niles.



bobby did this

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Miracle Three Little Pigs

Miracle of Three Little Pigs

Miracle of Three Little Pigs

We have heard and read about people experiencing miracles throughout history all our lives. From Bible stories to the five o'clock news we've read and seen miracles transform lives. And now I can report that such a thing has happened in my very life.
It started last July when my three yr. old granddaughter wanted a Guinea pig for her fourth birthday. Twenty dollars gets you a confirmed female Guinea pig and another hundred gets you the basics for which the pig can live in a confined well fed existence.
I say confirmed female because this is part of my miracle.
Christmas of that same year finds us buying a second pig, again with 98% confirmed assurance that it too was of the female gender. This second pig was required as my granddaughter thought Squeaker, the first confirmed female rodent, was lonely and needed a friend.
And so it came to be that two female Guinea pigs, Peaches and Squeaker, would become my weekly chore of cleaning their 4ft. by 2 ft. abode from hundreds if not thousands of little chocolate tic-tac droppings and urine soaked wood chips. But it wasn't weekly. It became every 4-5 days as the smell of these two pigs with their origin south of the equator became a little overwhelming. As did other things.
These two girls started to do......how do I put this?.....Boy girl things. No. Married man and women things. Things that made me turn to YouTube for guidance.
On YouTube I learned that all knowledge about Guinea pigs comes from pre-teen girls and middle aged women with no children. Women and girls that turn rodents into the children they will, or never will have. These pigs have it made! If you're a Guinea pig that is lucky enough to get adopted by such a group of childless females you will live a life of comfort and care. One that finds you not bedded on sharp pokey wood chips but on fleece as soft as butter. Fleece that is twice daily vacuumed of all the chocolate tic-tacs a pig of your size can produce. Bowls of fresh veggies rather than pellets of compressed .....? Who cares! Just as long as you eat it and not die. Plus you get the run of the house. All five or six or seven of you run about on your confirmed routes without the care of where your next meal might be.
This knowledgeable group of females have any or all of your questions about pig behavior covered and answered for on YouTube. The habits and traits of these substitute children are all videoed and explained in an easy to understand way that only a twelve year old can do. And what my two females, acting like pigs, we're doing was natural. It was a form of showing which pig was the dominant pig.
Comforted by a group of childless women, I put my concerns of the mommy and daddy behavior to rest. It was a kind of rest that lasted for 72 days. And on that 72nd day the womb came to life and expelled the miracle of birth that can only be found from the conception that resulted from two females. A miracle has transpired!
Where there were two, have now become five. My granddaughter was ecstatic! She was the one, the only one that celebrated this miracle birth of three babies.
Ya right dominance. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it's a duck!
"Look grandpa ones piggy backing the other one!" my granddaughter would observe. Quack quack quack.
So Peaches as it would turn out is a boy. His gender hiding days are over! No more quacking from you my male friend. It's a life of seclusion from Squeaker or $150 dollars to have your bits removed. And I mean bits, tiny bits. In defense of our YouTube experts its very difficult to determine gender of Guinea pigs. Armed with the knowledge that she was a he, and without getting too graphic, the difference is minuscule. It's like trying to determine a fat naked guy getting out of a cold pool on a windy day from a great distance through foggy glasses and blowing leaves is male or female would be the way you would have to judge gender for a Guinea pig.
So it was with little debate, our first problem solved,... keep Squeaker and Peaches apart. Maybe rename Peaches?
Second problem is, we can't have five Guinea pigs. Not a problem for us but to my granddaughter Charlotte it was a huge issue. We, right from the delivery room started to prepare her to the fact that five pigs is too many. It wasn't until six days later that we laid down the law that there was not going to be five pigs, and that we had to give them away. To which she responded 'And when I turn five I suppose you're going to give me away!'
It's hard to argue with a four year old. But I did try...and lost.
Maybe I should try YouTube again? What to do with too many Guinea pigs? I typed into the keyboard, waited a few seconds and got cooking recipes and snakes eating Peaches! Gross!
Second problem still not answered. Plus the girls on YouTube tell me that at three weeks these three little pigs can start quacking like married mommy and daddy pigs. So now I have a third problem...who's who in the zoo? Which ones are boys and which ones are girls? To find out who's who for sure you have to take the three little pigs to the veterinarian to see which one wears a pink bow in her hair and which one will scratch himself like a ball player. And all for the cost of more than you could buy three new 98% confirmed gender pigs at the store. Aaahhhhh!
'Three Little Pigs! Free to a Good Home With NO Snakes or Guinea Pig Recipes'
Reads the sign out front of the house. Second problem solved in a way that the third problem is no longer mine. Now for the biggest problem, telling a four year old what the sign reads, and that when she turns five another sign just like this one won't appear on the lawn. This is going to be expensive.

Bob Niles

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Grass is Always Greener....(cartoon)

The Grass is Always Greener On the Other Side of the Fence

The Grass is Always Greener On the Other Side of the Fence
(but it smells like a chip shop)
I find myself standing in line at the 15 items or less isle at my local grocery store. In hand are one gallon of vinegar, one kilogram of salt and a bottle of lemony fresh, tough on grease soft on hands dish soap. All the items needed to boil me up a dandelions worst nightmare.
For weeks now the wife has been bugging me to kill all the lovely yellow flowers punctuating the back and front yards. Bright, cheery, round kisses of sunlight that mature into ever so fragile orbs, that on but a whisper float softly across the yard in a delicate dance, then to land to continue their cycle of life.
"WEEDS!" She called them, raising her arms in the air, with both hands and teeth clenched. "Get off your bottom, ( just in case the little ones are reading this) get out in that yard, and kill them weeds!"
"With what shall I kill them (to the tune of 'There's a Hole in My Bucket') dear Cindy dear Cindy? With what shall I kill them?"
I never heard her response as I was to busy ducking, spinning and running avoiding air-borne objects all trying to do to me that which she wanted me to do to the weeds.
My question was a valid one.
Gone are the warm Spring days filled with the hazy fog of herbicides, that was my youth. Dad sending you out with a spray bottle and an "Oh by the way try not to breath it in" cautionary instruct. Sprays, powders and liquids, all with the picture of that guy you see on the pirate flags. 'Old Skull-n-Bones.' Together him and I would rid this here town of all the low life pesky weeds. Got to be a pretty good shot with a spray bottle too. Behind the back, over the head, under the leg, all with deadly accuracy.
'With what shall I kill them?' Herbicides are banned. "Good thing too!" my doctor says. "You should of breathed that stuff in a little less, then your kids wouldn't all have to be working in the circus."
I'll ask the guy next door, he has a nice lawn. A fact my wife never forgets to tell me every chance she gets. Besides I've got to go over and complain about a chip shop he's just recently opened up over there.
"Ya git yer vinegar, ya git yer salt and ya git some of that there liquid soap. Ya mix'em all up, boil it, then ya pour it on them and watch'em scream!" This was his answer to "So what do you use to kill weeds?" Or at least I hope it was, don't see many kids playing outside anymore.
Weird guy! I order a side of chips and leave.
Back at home now I drag out the wife's cauldron, careful not to knock over her broom. I drain the vinegar into the pot, add four 'Worlds best Dad' cups of salt and enough liquid soap to beg the question, is it half empty or half full?
Using 2 by 4s from the sun deck I ripped down three years ago (I told her I'd use these someday) I start a fire under the pot. In no time at all my eyes are stinging from the smoke and I'm breathing through my mouth to avoid the stench of hot vinegar. Place smells like a chip shop!
Hey he still hasn't brought over them fries.
My mixture of 'dandelion hell is soon at a full boil. I remove the pot from over the fire, using my pants as a pot holder. That's pretty much what they are when I wear them too.
I pour my steaming concoction on the first weed I see. It withers and deflates like a wife reminding you you're almost out of 'Depends' in front of your high school sweet-heart at the 40th school reunion. I mean that weed wishes it was never born! If it had a palm to smack the front of his forehead and eyes to roll back and squeeze shut and a mouth to say "Not here! Not now!" and fall backwards on to the gymnasium floor into the fetal position sucking his thumb ..........he would. I mean 'it' would.
Upwards and onwards to the next weed.
Two week later
Sitting in McDonalds wondering where I went wrong. Not enough vinegar? Wrong kind of salt, should of been sea-salt? Too much soap? What?
All my weeds are back , just like before. I walk out to the car and they're waving at me in the summer breeze, and laughing with their bright sunny disposition.
I grab another handful of fries and shove them at my face. Looking down at my tray I see my unopened packet of vinegar and salt. Remembering I like these on my fries I decide to be classy and not to remove the dozen or so chips sticking out of my mouth to anoint and bless them with free condiments. I'll practice good manners and wait for the next installment.
FREE? Did I say free?
Hang on here! Am I the only one that realizes Mickey Dees is giving out free weed killer! Or in my case weed suppression.
Armed with this knowledge, I ask for three thousand packets of vinegar for my small fries. "No need to count them"I say, "just fill this black pot. Oh, and make it quick, the wife doesn't like me taking her things out of the yard."
It's time to cook up another vat, and cheese off a bunch of heckling, yellow headed, jovial weeds. Hey, do you think Heinz 57 got it on the first try?


by Bob Niles.

PS. After less than 57 tries I now realize my recipe was correct it was the timing that was off. You must spray the vinegar, salt and soap solution after the dew is off the rose, and the weed. Plus it's also helpful if it doesn't rain the next day so the weed can get the full effect of your hateful concoction.
I also found out McDonalds is not in the habit of giving out endless supplies of free condiments. This was explained to me as my wifes' black pot was about 1/4 full of free vinegar and salt while I was trying to pull it through the bathroom door for liquid soap.





bobby did this